Statistical sleuthing brings trust back to journalism

“Newsrooms will begin to build innovative digital research labs equipped to use automation, computation, quantitative analyses, and forensic techniques.”

The rise of disinformation and attacks on the media in recent years have eroded trust in journalism. To rebuild that trust, the stories we publish need to stand up to greater scrutiny. Receipts are required.

Leaked documents and datasets are an important part of giving the public proof of wrongdoing and injustices. While whistleblowers play a crucial role in bringing truth to light, they are few and far between. (For those few reading this now: The Markup’s tip line is 917-407-0635 on Signal. Let’s talk.)

In 2022, newsrooms will invest in cutting-edge methods for uncovering the truth. They’ll begin to build innovative digital research labs equipped to use automation, computation, quantitative analyses, and forensic techniques.

A handful of exceptional teams are leading the way today. The Markup, Bellingcat, BuzzFeed, Consumer Reports, and Human Rights Watch are nontraditional newsgathering operations that have all incorporated forensic reporting, digital tools, and statistical analysis into their work with laudable results. These data-driven efforts are powerful. They not only reveal hidden truths in the public interest — they also burnish trust in journalism itself.

Julia Angwin is founder and editor-in-chief of The Markup.

The rise of disinformation and attacks on the media in recent years have eroded trust in journalism. To rebuild that trust, the stories we publish need to stand up to greater scrutiny. Receipts are required.

Leaked documents and datasets are an important part of giving the public proof of wrongdoing and injustices. While whistleblowers play a crucial role in bringing truth to light, they are few and far between. (For those few reading this now: The Markup’s tip line is 917-407-0635 on Signal. Let’s talk.)

In 2022, newsrooms will invest in cutting-edge methods for uncovering the truth. They’ll begin to build innovative digital research labs equipped to use automation, computation, quantitative analyses, and forensic techniques.

A handful of exceptional teams are leading the way today. The Markup, Bellingcat, BuzzFeed, Consumer Reports, and Human Rights Watch are nontraditional newsgathering operations that have all incorporated forensic reporting, digital tools, and statistical analysis into their work with laudable results. These data-driven efforts are powerful. They not only reveal hidden truths in the public interest — they also burnish trust in journalism itself.

Julia Angwin is founder and editor-in-chief of The Markup.

Simon Allison

Chicas Poderosas

Richard Tofel

Cherian George

David Skok

Errin Haines

Megan McCarthy

Ariel Zirulnick

Joe Amditis

Sarah Stonbely

Michael W. Wagner

Gonzalo del Peon

Robert Hernandez

Shannon McGregor & Carolyn Schmitt

Jennifer Coogan

Brian Moritz

Meena Thiruvengadam

Moreno Cruz Osório

j. Siguru Wahutu

Don Day

Burt Herman

Andrew Freedman

Cindy Royal

Amara Aguilar

Stephen Fowler

Whitney Phillips

Kerri Hoffman

Doris Truong

Larry Ryckman

Ståle Grut

Jim Friedlich

Eric Nuzum

A.J. Bauer

Victor Pickard

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

Catalina Albeanu

Jesse Holcomb

Christina Shih

Joanne McNeil

Kristen Jeffers

Christoph Mergerson

Anthony Nadler

Julia Munslow

Wilson Liévano

Joni Deutsch

Kendra Pierre-Louis

Simon Galperin

Millie Tran

Laxmi Parthasarathy

Paul Cheung

Gordon Crovitz

Jennifer Brandel

Tamar Charney

Zizi Papacharissi

Francesco Zaffarano

Tom Trewinnard

Candace Amos

Jessica Clark

Sarah Marshall

Izabella Kaminska

Chase Davis

Natalia Viana

S. Mitra Kalita

Joshua P. Darr

Joy Mayer

James Green

Parker Molloy

Mary Walter-Brown

AX Mina

John Davidow

Tony Baranowski

Cristina Tardáguila

Jody Brannon

Mike Rispoli

Rachel Glickhouse

Jesenia De Moya Correa

Juleyka Lantigua

Stefanie Murray

Amy Schmitz Weiss

Matt Karolian

Julia Angwin

Kristen Muller

Matthew Pressman

Janelle Salanga

Gabe Schneider

Kathleen Searles & Rebekah Trumble

Sam Guzik

Shalabh Upadhyay

Raney Aronson-Rath

Matt DeRienzo

David Cohn

Anita Varma

Nikki Usher

Anika Anand

Alice Antheaume

Melody Kramer

Jonas Kaiser

Mario García

Mandy Jenkins

Daniel Eilemberg